Tate Modern

Eva Hesse and Antony Gormley

Natalie Bell Building Level 2 East
Antony Gormley, ‘Untitled (for Francis)’ 1985
Antony Gormley, Untitled (for Francis) 1985. Tate. © Antony Gormley

Compare abstract and figurative approaches to art

The close engagement between the individual and the work of art, whether an artist’s process of making or a viewer’s experience of looking, is the focus for this display. It includes depictions of artists’ studios as well as abstract works that draw attention to the complex nature of perception.

In this opening room, works by Eva Hesse and Antony Gormley have been brought together to introduce two contrasting approaches explored in the rooms that follow. Hesse was one of many twentieth-century artists whose work turned away from the recognisable world and towards abstraction. Gormley’s sculpture shows how, at the same time, artists have continued to find new ways to represent the human figure.

Artists leave their mark on their work, and on the world, in very different ways. Gormley casts his own body in lead, seeing his sculpture as a tool to link ‘inner and outer worlds’. Hesse described her work as rooted in ‘contradictions and oppositions’. Her sculpture Addendum is based on order and repetition, with a precise mathematical sequence determining the space between each unit. Yet it also allows a touch of chaos, as the cords hang down and curl in an unruly tangle on the floor.

Curated by Matthew Gale


Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Art in this room

All rooms in this display

We recommend

Find out more